China inspires bike boom

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Bargain-priced Chinese imports are firing a growth in interest in bikes among a whole new group of buyers, according to the Motor Cycle Industry Association.

They now account for 25% of the under 125cc market. Your next bike

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Tests & user reviews here Craig Carey-Clinch, MCI's Director of Public Affairs said, "There are hundreds of manufacturers in China producing a vast array of bikes and scooters, which means they may not often appear in the top five sellers, but this is changing and in March 2006 Chinese brands appeared in the top five Custom and Trail/Enduro bikes.

"Clearly, people have aspirations to own motorcycles and scooters and British based companies can now capitalise on this demand, that has been partly stimulated by cheaper Chinese models." Great kit: 1700 items reviewed here It’s no coincidence that the fastest growing sectors year-to-date are those with plenty of choices from China – Custom (up 33%), Naked (up 20%) and Trail/Enduro (up15%).

To the end of March overall bike registrations were up nine per cent, scooters up five per cent and moped saw no rise. Year on year (March 05, to March 06) motorcycle sales were up 13%, scooters 10% and mopeds fell 1%.

Trade in used bikes also saw a year-on-year rise, says the MCIA.

China now accounts for 50% of world motorcycle production.

Dealers reckon the way many Chinese brands are sold – through direct marketing online and often not through showrooms – now mean UK registration figures don’t reflect trends seen on the showroom floor.

Free finance, insurance and kit deals helped traditional manufacturers increase their sales in March, too.

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